Dissociative identity disorder  

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"The most racking pangs succeeded: a grinding in the bones, deadly nausea, and a horror of the spirit that cannot be exceeded at the hour of birth or death. Then these agonies began swiftly to subside, and I came to myself as if out of a great sickness. There was something strange in my sensations, something indescribably new and, from its very novelty, incredibly sweet. I felt younger, lighter, happier in body; within I was conscious of a heady recklessness, a current of disordered sensual images running like a mill-race in my fancy, a solution of the bonds of obligation, an unknown but not an innocent freedom of the soul. I knew myself, at the first breath of this new life, to be more wicked, tenfold more wicked, sold a slave to my original evil; and the thought, in that moment, braced and delighted me like wine. I stretched out my hands, exulting in the freshness of these sensations; and in the act, I was suddenly aware that I had lost in stature." --The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, 1888, R. L. Stevenson

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), as defined by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), is a mental condition whereby a single individual evidences two or more distinct identities or personalities, each with its own pattern of perceiving and interacting with the environment. The diagnosis requires that at least two personalities routinely take control of the individual's behavior and that there is associated memory loss that goes beyond normal forgetfulness, often referred to as losing time or acute Dissociative Amnesia.

In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novella The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the scientist Dr. Henry Jekyll artificially separates his good and evil natures, causing him to switch between two separate personalities through the consumption of a potion of his own creation.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Dissociative identity disorder" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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